Water bowls. Are they really necessary???

oldworldkeeper

Arachnopeon
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Nov 30, 2006
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10
i have been keeping my king and usambara baboon in deli cups with just about an inch of substrate. 2 times a month i mist the substrate to keep things a little moist and everyone is in good health. i have never lost/killed a tarantula doing this in the 4 years that i have been in the hobby. tell me why should i have a water bowl???
thanks
 

Le Wasp

Arachnoknight
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Oct 25, 2007
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i have been keeping my king and usambara baboon in deli cups with just about an inch of substrate. 2 times a month i mist the substrate to keep things a little moist and everyone is in good health. i have never lost/killed a tarantula doing this in the 4 years that i have been in the hobby. tell me why should i have a water bowl???
thanks
Water bowls seem to work best for tarantulas that prefer dry habitats. That way you can keep their terrarium dry, but still provide them with the water they need. Also, keeping the area dry is a good way to rid a tank of a mite infestation.
 

Sleazoid

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Jul 18, 2010
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241
I only use a water dish for my tarantulas that are four inches and above. Other than that I just pour water onto the substrate.
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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Most T's can be kept without a water bowl but that requires a higher level of attentiveness. You must keep the soil moist enough and you must feed them regularly with properly hydrated prey items. With the margin for error being thus reduced this technique really shouldn't be recommended for beginners. One must have an intimate understanding of their tarantula's needs and be able to tell when they are not being met.

The species you mention in particular are from pretty arid environments so they really don't hurt from days, even weeks without water. I think if you tried the same techniques with say, Pamphobeteus or other swamp stompers you might have very different results.

That said, there are some species I keep that don't get water dishes. GBB, Pterinochilus, Psalmopoeus, Cyclosternum... all these guys give me such a hassle with webbing or burying their dishes that I've given up and just use a syringe to squirt a pool of water in front of them about once a week. Usually they jump in and drink it right up.
 

poeciN3RD

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Simply put, yes, water is necessary for most living organisms. Water + Heat = Life, some organisms require Light as well.
 

JimM

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Simply put, yes, water is necessary for most living organisms. Water + Heat = Life, some organisms require Light as well.
No - it's hardly that simple, and that's not an answer to the question that the OP actually asked.

I kept ZERO water dishes for a few decades and raised a few hundred tarantulas from slings to adult this way. This I know from long years of direct experience (rather than parroting others) that tarantulas can thrive without the addition of a water dish. They get all the water they need from prey items if fed properly.

I keep water dishes with some species nowadays simply as a 'just in case'
measure - erring in favor of the animal as it were, since it can't hurt - but I still don't bother with other species, such as pokeys and avics for instance.

In short, might as well provide water in enclosures where it's practical, since it's easy, and once again errs in favor of the animal, but it's hardly a necessity. I'll pit long years of direct empirical data against anyone who hasn't actually done it, but still attempts to refute this.
 

arachnidsrulz12

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
63
i have been keeping my king and usambara baboon in deli cups with just about an inch of substrate. 2 times a month i mist the substrate to keep things a little moist and everyone is in good health. i have never lost/killed a tarantula doing this in the 4 years that i have been in the hobby. tell me why should i have a water bowl???
thanks
yeah, water bowl is necessary because T's need to drink water

for the sling not necessary just spray their enclosure with water. sling drink off of the wall or glass I don't know
some T's got their water source from their prey and a water bowl is necessary too
just my opinion
 

AudreyElizabeth

Arachnodemon
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Feb 10, 2003
Messages
744
Most T's can be kept without a water bowl but that requires a higher level of attentiveness. You must keep the soil moist enough and you must feed them regularly with properly hydrated prey items. With the margin for error being thus reduced this technique really shouldn't be recommended for beginners. One must have an intimate understanding of their tarantula's needs and be able to tell when they are not being met.

The species you mention in particular are from pretty arid environments so they really don't hurt from days, even weeks without water. I think if you tried the same techniques with say, Pamphobeteus or other swamp stompers you might have very different results.

That said, there are some species I keep that don't get water dishes. GBB, Pterinochilus, Psalmopoeus, Cyclosternum... all these guys give me such a hassle with webbing or burying their dishes that I've given up and just use a syringe to squirt a pool of water in front of them about once a week. Usually they jump in and drink it right up.
Best explanation I've read on this topic. I noticed my B. smithi doing a water dish face plant today, but then again he doesn't move mountains of peat or web it over it either.
I don't keep any of the high humidity species mentioned above, but if I did I would surely keep a dish in there. For arboreal tarantulas I mist about twice a week on the side of the container for slings (because I give them less ventilation) , three to four times for adults (because I give them more ventilation). It all depends though, on cage set-up, individual habits of the specimen, and your own intuitive judgment. When in doubt, always provide a dish!
But I have succeeded in keeping several tarantulas plump and healthy over a period of years without one.
 

JimM

Arachnoangel
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To be frank, I've not noticed a significat margin of error difference when not providing a water dish, at least the the species that I've kept, which is a considerable number. I've not kept any Theraphosa species, so the "margin of error" may come into play with T. blondi and company.

I can say that with regard to Avicularia, Poecilotheria, Brachypelma, Aphonopelma, Haplopelma, Hysterocrates, Cyriocosmus, Cyclosternum, Chromatopelma and Grammostola at least, they remain as hardy as ever without a water dish, and one needn't be overly doting even without a water dish present.
That said, I tend to provide a water dish for some individuals nowadays as I said above, but this is hardly a pervasive practice within my collection.

As I pointed out before, the "give them a water dish after 3 inches" is arbitrary, meaningless, and if anything the opposite of what should happen if you're paranoid about hydration, since a smaller tarantula will desiccate much easier than a larger specimen. So an arguably much better (but sill arbitrary and erroneous) statement would be "provide a water dish until they reach 3 inches" The dangers of open containers of water and small slings notwithstanding.
 

Kathy

Arachnoangel
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Apr 4, 2009
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All of mine have a water bowl and I know they use to the water to build their homes. My blue fang and h.mac - probably 3 times a week that water bowl is filled with dirt because they are digging and trenching. I wish I had a little nighttime video camera to watch what they do. It's exciting in the morning to see their progress. So in answer to the OP's question, I don't know if it is necessary, but I think all living creatures should have access to fresh water - if not for drinking, for construction purposes!
 

curiousme

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yeah, water bowl is necessary because T's need to drink water

for the sling not necessary just spray their enclosure with water. sling drink off of the wall or glass I don't know
some T's got their water source from their prey and a water bowl is necessary too
just my opinion
Your opinion does not seem to be well founded when you include "I don't know" with it.

Spiderlings will drink from the walls, or even the substrate itself. Adults will do the same.

We have a few species that don't get water dishes, due to their insistence on burying it. We still wet a portion of the substrate for them, but ditched the dish.
 

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
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Nov 16, 2007
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Whether supplying a water dish, pouring directly onto the substrate or spraying the web, the important factor is to provide a level of water.
The species I keep with water bowls are easy checked for hydration whereas those that are not I have no way of knowing. Of course the problem is getting the Ts to realise the water bowls are for water and NOT for webbing over or cartwheeling around the enclosure :)
 

barabootom

Arachnolord
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Mar 1, 2008
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I live in the cold north and the heat in the house dries the air terribly. I always provide a water dish and I do see the T's using it in the winter. I'd recommend having a water dish available. Why risk a T having molt problems, etc from not being properly hydrated?
 

arachnidsrulz12

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Oct 12, 2010
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Your opinion does not seem to be well founded when you include "I don't know" with it.

Spiderlings will drink from the walls, or even the substrate itself. Adults will do the same.

We have a few species that don't get water dishes, due to their insistence on burying it. We still wet a portion of the substrate for them, but ditched the dish.
some water dish or bowl are way too big for the sling they drown

in my opinion every T's need a water bowl not too big and not too small for them

oh yeah and some substrate collect water
 

malevolentrobot

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Jan 21, 2010
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some water dish or bowl are way too big for the sling they drown

in my opinion every T's need a water bowl not too big and not too small for them

oh yeah and some substrate collect water
oh darn, well then according to you i am keeping my slings wrong since nothing gets a water dish until it approaches 2" in my collection. no deaths so far, but what do i know...

Spiderlings will drink from the walls, or even the substrate itself. Adults will do the same.

We have a few species that don't get water dishes, due to their insistence on burying it. We still wet a portion of the substrate for them, but ditched the dish.
this is pretty much what i follow as well, although most of my older Ts behave well with their dishes (except for my B. smithi, and you know how i fix that? checking on my smithi everyday :p).
 

curiousme

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some water dish or bowl are way too big for the sling they drown
This is a false statement and belies your knowledge of tarantulas. It is a pervasive myth that they will drown, but it is almost an impossibility. The tarantula would suffocate before it drowned if there is ever a danger.

oh yeah and some substrate collect water
Please explain what you mean by this?
 

arachnidsrulz12

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Oct 12, 2010
Messages
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oh darn, well then according to you i am keeping my slings wrong since nothing gets a water dish until it approaches 2" in my collection. no deaths so far, but what do i know...
nothing is wrong

no water dish for sling that are less than 1" or 2"

start giving them water dish if they are 1" to 2"

just my opinion, people don't need to follow me

I kept my T's thesse way and they are happy
 

JimM

Arachnoangel
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some water dish or bowl are way too big for the sling they drown

in my opinion every T's need a water bowl not too big and not too small for them

oh yeah and some substrate collect water
It's not a matter of opinion. There's actual empirical data (years of it) that indicates no, they don't need a water dish, and no other water source aside from that provided by prey items to boot.

When you've kept T's both ways for an extended period of time, then and only then can you render an educated opinion on the subject.

I think a lot of folks read a water dish necessary, and keep them this way from the get go. Then type "yes they need a water dish!" when this subject comes up, nevermind they have ZERO experience keeping T's without said water dish. Thus we're looking at a statement without experiential data to back it up.

I can tell you, after keeping and growing healthy T's for 20 years without a single water dish, (water coming mostly from prey items) they thrive without it.

My caveat above about providing one anyway applies as ever. It's easy most of the time, in most enclosures, so might as well provide the dish. Can't hurt.

---------- Post added at 12:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:31 AM ----------

nothing is wrong
I kept my T's thesse way and they are happy
Right, but have never kept them any other way, which means you can't render an educated opinion on not having a dish.
 

arachnidsrulz12

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 12, 2010
Messages
63
This is a false statement and belies your knowledge of tarantulas. It is a pervasive myth that they will drown, but it is almost an impossibility. The tarantula would suffocate before it drowned if there is ever a danger.



Please explain what you mean by this?
yeah, that what I mean suggocate and people drown

forgot to mention some species of tarantula like to swim in water or hold their breath under water

forgot what species are they

---------- Post added at 07:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:32 PM ----------

It's not a matter of opinion. There's actual empirical data (years of it) that indicates no, they don't need a water dish, and no other water source aside from that provided by prey items to boot.

When you've kept T's both ways for an extended period of time, then and only then can you render an educated opinion on the subject.

I think a lot of folks read a water dish necessary, and keep them this way from the get go. Then type "yes they need a water dish!" when this subject comes up, nevermind they have ZERO experience keeping T's without said water dish. Thus we're looking at a statement without experiential data to back it up.

I can tell you, after keeping and growing healthy T's for 20 years without a single water dish, (water coming mostly from prey items) they thrive without it.

My caveat above about providing one anyway applies as ever. It's easy most of the time, in most enclosures, so might as well provide the dish. Can't hurt.

---------- Post added at 12:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:31 AM ----------



Right, but have never kept them any other way, which means you can't render an educated opinion on not having a dish.
read the post before u replied

I did said T's got their water source from their prey lol

look at the beggining of the thread first
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
All of mine have a water bowl and I know they use to the water to build their homes. My blue fang and h.mac - probably 3 times a week that water bowl is filled with dirt because they are digging and trenching. I wish I had a little nighttime video camera to watch what they do. It's exciting in the morning to see their progress. So in answer to the OP's question, I don't know if it is necessary, but I think all living creatures should have access to fresh water - if not for drinking, for construction purposes!
I think you are misunderstanding the habits of your tarantulas. They don't put substrate in the water dish for construction purposes, other than as a place to pile the excavated dirt.
 
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